“DID GRANDFATHER RUSSELL ATTEND A ONE ROOM SCHOOL? WHERE? WHAT WAS IT LIKE?”
Elliott’s daddy, Russell, walked ONLY three miles to and from school.
“There Was No Bus for Russ!” by N. Elliott Noorlun
Needles of ice, In the wind whipped his face,
Yet, it only caused Russ, To pick up his pace.
For ahead, three miles, The school bell would ring,
But for now, The wind in the trees did sing.
One room school house in the long ago, where Russ and siblings used to go.
With brother Doren, And sisters, too,
Through snowy paths, Their little legs flew,
To one room school, Near Fosston town,
Where they could finally, Set their school books down.
Elliott’s father, Russell, is boy on bottom(2nd from right) with black cap (snow on brim). Boy, bottom center(also dark cap), is Elliott’s Uncle Doren. Girl far left is Elliott’s Aunt Doris Noorlun. Timeline for this photo is roughly 1931-32.
After Readin’ n Writin’ n ‘Rithmetic,
It was recess time, To play in snow thick,
So outside they’d climb, Upon the wood pile,
To stretch those young bodies, With fun for a while.
Elliott’s father, Russell, carries a buddy in his arms. Elliott’s Uncle Doren is the upside-down boy in photo. Elliott’s Aunt Doris is far right in this photo of playtime at the school near Fosston, Minnesota. 1931-32 school year with a Miss Thompson for their teacher.
Little brother, Doren, Was always the clown,
Even enjoying snow, In the upside-down.
Cuddled around Miss Thompson, and the pot-bellied stove, it was back to the books.
Recess was over, Now back inside,
To warm up by stove, And thaw out their hide.
Cuddled around teacher, And near to the stove,
It was time for new knowledge, As in school books they dove.
Russell was scared of the howling Timber Wolves.
With school day behind them, And sun setting quick,
There was three miles back home, Through forest so thick.
As the shadows of evening, Began to prevail,
Russ heard in the distance, A Timber Wolf wail.
Footsteps got faster!
Were they coming his way??, His heart skipped a beat,
As Russ gave command, To his scared, booted feet.
“Let’s run for the farm!!!, And security of home!!”,
“And out of these woods!!!, It’s no place to roam!!”.
So Russ, with his brothers, And sisters they flew,
To protection of home, That was finally in view!
Four of the eight Noorlun children at school. Elliott’s father, Russell, is behind and to the right of the girl with glasses. Arrows point to Russell, Doris, Doren and Ray. Other siblings were Ileen, Erwin, Gaylord and Lillian.
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I may be only one oat seed in a field of millions, yet I have a story to share of beginnings on our beloved farm in southern Minnesota and beyond to life as I've seen it to this point. Famous? No. Gifted? Unlikely. Yet, I want to leave a legacy to my children and grandchildren of who this gentle Norwegian man was. My happy times, sad times, successes and failures. Someday, those who are tiny now, will have this volume to come to and get to know this Norwegian Farmer's Son.
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April 17, 2020 April 17, 2020